What will happen to Jordan is, of course, a crucial question. The King, who is a pretty clever fellow, and not at all ossified (or mummified) in the manner of Hosni Mubarak, took the large preemptive step of firing his government. But the question is, is that enough? I asked Robert Satloff, the head of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the country's leading Jordan expert, what he thinks is going to happen next. Here is his answer:
So far, events in Jordan point to an Arab domino that is not falling. Protests in Jordan appear to focus on economic issues, not the status of the monarchy or the need for democracy. In Jordan, rotating prime ministers is the time-honored method for the king to defuse popular tension and unless sparks begin to fly in troublesome areas -- Zarqa and Irbid (among Palestinians), Maan and Kerak (among Transjordanians) -- I expect the monarchy to weather this storm. Of course, as we have seen, situations can change rapidly but so far, the Hashemites are staying (perhaps uneasily) on the throne.